A Bridesmaid's Guide to Slimming Down

One of my very best friends is finally getting married. Her wedding day is set for June next year and I'm beyond excited to be a part of her special day. She just shared with me some details she had in mind like the theme, colors and of course, her gown. Everything's so pretty and I can already imagine it as one of the most beautiful weddings I'll ever be a part of.

The problem now is this: I seriously wanna slim down in time for the gown fitting as I'll be one of her bridesmaids. I don't really consider myself a fatty but my bulging belly (which kinda hints "pregnant" for most people) has been giving me nightmares lately. People asking "are you pregnant?" (when you're actually not) kinda stings a little bit you know? And as much as I want to convince myself that they're only baby fats, they really are not. They've already taken permanent residency in the most unflattering part of my body. Eating too much of what I've been baking for the past year, drowning on soda, and my extremely sweet tooth are finally catching up with me. Sad to say, but I'm no longer that comfortable and confident wearing a dress. So now I'm on a mission. Yes I know that this is going to be really hard and would take a lot of effort on my part for sure, but I know this one is gonna be possible. I'M GONNA BURN, MELT AND KILL THESE FATS AWAY AND I'M GONNA LOOK FABULOUS IN THAT DRESS! Who's with me? :)

Here's my game plan so far:

Breaking up with Cola
I think I drink too much soda or carbonated drinks for my own good. I know this is not healthy, so I am finally stopping this bad habit and will go for healthier alternatives like "water", plain water that is. Lame choice I know, but replacing Coca-Cola and Pepsi with water will benefit me in the long run. Water is always good! Fruity shakes and juices make my stomach growl and hurt bigtime so I have no other choice really.

I also happen to be a huge coffee addict. I drink atleast three to four cups daily and I'm an even bigger fan of creamer like I'm summoning the goddess of Diabetes or something. This part would take a lot of will power for me because my brain really finds it hard to function without my caffeine fix, but I have to do my best with this one. Or just reduce my daily intake, maybe? We'll see...

Run baby, run (like the zombies are after you)
Our building apartment has a free gym and swimming pool for all tenants. Unfortunately, I haven't been giving these benefits much thought since I moved there. I also feel really bad that the pair of running shoes I bought almost a year ago is still left unused. I guess it's time to turn things around and get these baby fats to meet some really hot new friends like Mr. Stationary Bike and Ms. Threadmill. Will tag along with the boyfriend to make things more exciting. He knows his way around the gym.

Green, leafy and edible bestfriends
I've already told you about my brilliant plan to meet the mean machines of fitness above. Now, I'd like to talk about being BFF's with veggies. The greener and the leafier, the better! You all know how much I used to despise eating vegetables, but I'm now trying my best to change my ways and has been learning lots of healthy recipes too. This year, I've eaten broccoli for the first time and believe it or not, have finally learned how to eat carrots with a smile. Meats and other fatty foods taste superb and they also play a vital role in giving you your much-needed protein and energy but they should be eaten in moderation and be balanced with fruits and vegetables as well.

These three steps are not really revolutionary, but they're still practically new territory to me so I'm a bit scared to be honest. It's easy to get trapped in an unhealthy lifestyle, but getting out of it is hardwork for real. Holding the door knob to Healthville and taking the first step inside are the hardest part. It's best to have a string of great friends and family behind you for support while you muster enough courage to achieve the healthier (if not healthiest) version of yourself. Keep your eyes on the prize. Slipping perfectly inside my bridesmaid's dress is such a nice excuse to be more inspired to change my bad lifestyle. I CAN DO THIS! :)

Are you also trying to slim down and live a much healthier lifestyle? What works and what did not work for you? Call me desperate, but I'd love to hear about your journey too and I'm very open to great tips and advice. :)

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Something Brand New

You probably noticed something different around here in Icing and Write's side of the fence during the last couple of days. It's still the same ol' blog but we're sporting a brand new look and I'm loving it a whole lot! :)

The beautiful header above is courtesy of the very talented Tabitha Emma. I really wanted a simple, more organic and personal feel for the banner and she amazingly nailed it in the head the first time. It came out lovely and even more beautiful than what I had imagined.

She is such a joy to work with and I highly recommend her in case you're thinking about redesigning your online space. I actually had too much ideas running inside my head and not so sure with what I wanted. Tabitha simply asked me to introduce myself to her, what I do, my favorites, what I blog about and the things that keep me inspired and happy. A few days later, she sent the first draft and in an instant, it was love at first sight. I'm really in awe of her talent. She's amazing! :)

I decided to also tweak the background, sidebar and font colors of my blog so everything blends seamlessly with the banner. It fits like a dream! The beautiful changes around here are really inspiring me to blog more.

What can you say about the new look?


The Death of Snow White

We decided to watch Snow White and the Huntsman last night after hearing rave reviews from friends. The movie was okay, but for some reason I went home feeling all low and weird because of it. It was excruciatingly long and some of the scenes were already bordering on boring in my opinion. I guess I was also a bit concerned for the little kids who were seated right next to us. They seemed so awkward in their seats, trying to cover their eyes and ears every time the evil queen kills someone. I really think the film was way too dark and too violent to even have the name Snow White in the title. It should have been strictly marked as PG-13 at the very least. How else can you explain to a seven year old all those brutal killings and blood without being disturbing? I honestly feel bad for those kids. :(

the death of snow white

The story of Snow White has always been a favorite of mine growing up, and at that time I did not understand why the evil witch was afraid of getting old so much that she's willing to kill someone innocent to prevent it. I do believe there's absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to be beautiful. Admittedly, I have my vain moments too. I freak out when I get pimples on and off, I have purchased tons of products just to keep my wiry hair at bay, and I myself have a strong inclination towards pretty things. For as long as you're doing it for all the good reasons, I have nothing against giving in to personal vanity. I support it with all my heart, but only up to a certain point.

My colleague and I were talking about people's wild obsession with vanity this morning and how it has become so hugely endemic despite the painful price that usually comes with it. Too much of anything is a bad thing and we're appalled why some have a hard time realizing when enough is enough.

everybody is beautiful

Just the other day, there was a news about a woman who died a few days before her wedding day. Unfortunately, she decided to have sessions with four different tanning salons in one day which cooked most of her internal organs causing her instant death. Hearing true horror stories like this is always heartbreaking. What ever happened to natural beauty and loving your own skin?

Now don't get me wrong here. I'm not blogging this one out to judge anyone. I came from a country who's also as obsessed with achieving the much-coveted "Snow White complexion" and there were even phases in my life before when I also wanted to be her so bad. For sure people have different reasons why they go the extra mile to be tan, to be white, or to drastically change their outward appearance. It could be anxiety, lack of self-esteem, peer pressure, an abusive boyfriend, or how the media presents beauty making us feel more and more insecure about our own skin - the possible reasons are endless.

My stand with all these is this: WE ARE ALL BEAUTIFUL, AND IT'S OKAY TOO IF YOU WANT TO BE MORE BEAUTIFUL. Just be sure that you're doing it for yourself and you don't go all out risking your health (and your life) to achieve it. No one has the exclusive franchise of beauty because beauty does come in different shapes, colors and forms. Love what you got, girl! I grew up with a dad telling me that I need to feel confident and comfortable with myself all the time because how I feel inside will always reflect on the outside. How I view and treat myself is also how others will likely view and treat me. As cliche as this may sound, for as long as you have a good and kind heart inside to show off and a lot of love to give away, you'll be fine.

You're beautiful because you're uniquely YOU. :)

smile you are beautiful

P.S. It feels so good getting this one off my chest, by the way. Stay gorgeous! :)

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Good morning

When I woke up this morning, I had the sudden urge to take a few snaps of my silly face using my phone. It was probably almost a decade ago since I got my first camera phone and I used to have this weird habit of smiling for the camera first thing in the morning to start my weekend right. My job then was so stressful and exhausting which made me cherish weekend mornings a whole lot. It's nice to wake up realizing you don't have to rush off to work and you can just laze the entire day away.

Sharp pangs of homesickness are hitting me hard again these days. Everyday I am reminded how I am blessed with such an amazingly wonderful family back home which makes me miss them even more. Regular phone calls, messages and video chats with my mom, sister and nephew are what's keeping me sane. It's a daily battle and I really can't wait to come home for vacation this September.

Maybe I should start doing the morning poses again for some extra dose of positivity. Do you also do the same thing? Use your phone and smile for the camera first thing in the morning? Or maybe look in the mirror and give your winning smile to encourage good vibes all day? It sounds silly I know, but a smile can really go a long way. It works wonders for me.

By the way, just wanna share with you as well that my blog currently ranks 7th on Bloglovin's Up and Coming blogs under the General Lifestyle category. So cool! Thank you so much for following my little blog! :)

Enjoy the rest of the weekend. :)


The clutter fairy

My work slash make-up table at home is looking pretty neat these days, and given my extremely disorganized nature, this is something I'm really really proud of. You see, I have a mild compulsive hoarding problem and because of this, my place always tends to look more like a garage instead of homey    a messy storage of all sorts. Add my hoarding problem to my bad habit of not putting things back to their rightful place and you have all out mega clutter in the equation. It's insane.

I tried justifying all the clutter by saying that I'm one of those people who need creative chaos in order to function but thing is, all my unnecessary stuff and junks keep on accumulating and oftentimes it's causing me too much trouble. Like my inability to find things whenever I need them or just feeling all cranky after seeing all my garbage that I can't ever manage to dispose. :(

In keeping up with my newly-found organized ways, I got this really cute Tinker Bell desk figurine the other day and it has the word "BELIEVE" in it. A little something to keep me inspired and believe that I am capable of living in a clutter-free environment. Definitely adds a pretty little touch to my table too.

Are you anything like me at all? Do you also find yourself in a constant mess like I do?


26 Books & Summer style love

My bookshelf is feeling all filled up and happy these past couple of weeks ever since I discovered this secondhand bookshop inside Ace Hardware (of all places!). It now boasts some more new book titles I got at a dirt-cheap price, which I plan on devouring all summer and the upcoming month of Ramadan. This summer has been pretty hectic and I can't wait to finally have some quiet time to rest and go back to my love for the printed word. 

I'm currently halfway through Sophie Kinsella's The Undomestic Goddess by the way. I hope I get to finish one of my New Year's goals: Read atleast 26 books before I turn 27 this December. Fortunately, things seem to be looking up in this department and I couldn't be happier.

books reading sophie kinsella chic lit
Speaking of summer, Felissimo's catalog got me so in love. I am digging their summer collection's cardigans, loose tops and long skirts a lot! The texture, styling, colors and practically everything about their photographs are so laid-back, relaxed and fun. This is exactly what summer is all about.
Are you enjoying the summer season? :)


Gone Korean

My usually sensitive and very picky palate has recently developed an insane love for Korean cuisine. There's just something really interesting about how they present their food that makes me anticipate and appreciate the experience even more. Just with the number of side dishes they serve alone even before you dig in the main meal feels like such a treat already.

Aside from their usual kimchi and bulgogi, I've also become a huge fan of their noodles and sauces. Kinda ironic actually. Because instead of learning how to eat and appreciate Middle Eastern cuisine more, living here in Dubai has even made me go for Asian dishes daily such as Chinese, Filipino and of course, Korean. (^_^)

I even discovered this Korean supermarket the other day which was just a stone's throw away from our building and instantly had a mini spree. The store owner was so friendly and nice enough to accommodate all my questions about everything. It was also my first time to try their sweet rice cake which was very reminiscent of our local delicacies back home in the Philippines.

Sorry for the photo-heavy post. Since the month of Ramadan is just around the corner, this just happens to be the perfect time to share about my recent food adventures. I won't be dealing with food for a very long time once it starts, so please bear with me. :)

Do you love Korean cuisine as well? I usually can't stand very spicy foods and am not very experimental when it comes to other cuisines so my choices from their menu tend to be all safe and traditional. If you have tried and loved them, I would love to hear your suggestions.


The little things

It wasn't really deliberate but I do tend to collect a lot of things. I grew up collecting stationery in grade school and have enjoyed trading them with friends and classmates. My mom (who was into angel figurines and vintage stamps herself) even supported my little hobby back then and would often give me the cutest ones whenever I achieved something in school or did something extra nice that deserved a reward. Those were definitely good times. Unfortunately, none of these stationery survived my childhood.

I was born in 1985, the year of the Ox. Because of this and my weird belief that surrounding myself with cows would bring me unlimited good luck, I started to collect cute mini cow plushies back when I was still in college. McDonalds used to give them out along with their Happy Meals and I remember stuffing myself with burgers and fries day after day just so I could get more cow plushies. I was really addicted! Much has changed since then, but I still haven't outgrown my love for cows. I now prefer ceramic cows instead though and so far I have four (pictured above): coin bank, two mugs and a cookie jar. Sometimes I think the yellow one at the back tends to look more like a giraffe than a cow, so I'm not sure if that counts.

I bought this mini sand globe from my first paycheck here in Dubai almost two years ago. It has two little camels and the Burj Al Arab inside. I was so homesick during my first months here and had every plan of going home after three months. I was supposed to bring this sand globe with me as a reminder of the place but obviously, my plans have long changed. I'm still here in the desert and even with random bouts of homesickness every now and then, I'm loving my stay so far and have no plans of coming back home anytime soon.

Just recently, I decided to get a mini Dubai Oasis souvenir as well that has the Burj Al Arab, a palm tree, and the Burj Khalifa from a bookshop to match. I think I just started another addiction.

Meet Very Vicky  my second Blythe who's just arrived from Japan the other day and she's my very first Neo Blythe doll. I haven't taken her out of the box though. Maybe this weekend. Just curious. Do you also collect anything? I would love to know about your own special collections too. :)

If this year is the fastest year, this week has been the fastest week ever so far. Seriously, I didn't even feel a thing and tomorrow is already weekend. My oh my!


Gotta be green

To be honest, I was not a huge fan of vegetables and I wouldn't be surprised if that's the  reason why I always get sick. Until now, I can count on my fingers the very few veggies that I can actually eat. But I'm really trying my best to change my ways now and slowly inching my way up by eating healthy. Just recently, I learned how to cook crispy fried okra. Have you tried it? It tasted superb surprisingly, and I'm currently scouring online for more healthy vegetable recipes to try.

Bulgogi (marinated beef grilled to perfection) wrapped in fresh lettuce leaves could possibly be my life-saver and has become an instant favorite. I could eat this piece of heaven everyday! There's a Korean restaurant which is just a five-minute drive from our place that has the best Bulgogi. The Ssamjang (thick spicy paste) they serve this with also tastes so amazing. It's addicting!

I have also started getting a few potted plants inside our home. They not only brightened up our room with colors but basically refresh and give out this almost "zen-like" atmosphere. Not sure though if I have the green thumb required to keep them alive, but I'm taking my chances. It's been a week now, and so far they're looking very much alive. :)

indoor plants for clean air

One of my resolutions this year is to take better care of my health. I may have initially fumbled with the ball the past months, but I still have six months to get my head back in the game. I can do this!

Anyway, the wonderful people from Juniemoon have done it once again! Just sheer luck or coincidence maybe, but they always time the delivery of my Blythe dolls whenever I'm down with the flu and in dire need of a "pick-me-up". I practically crawled to get myself to the office this morning, but what greeted me on top of my desk when I arrived could probably heal my frazzled spirit in no time. It's my very first Neo Blythe and I can't wait to open it when I get home. :)


Monday Favorites - Random Fancy

Feeling a bit under the weather today, but I'm too workaholic to call it a day off at work. I was having so much fun all weekend that I didn't realize I almost had no time to rest and recharge myself at all for this work week. So while I nurse this mild fever and headache with some coffee, Panadol, and lots of paperworks, let me share with you what have caught my fancy lately.
bubble wrap
We're all mature until someone brings out the bubble wrap. :)

true love quote

the most romantic date ever
Probably the most romantic date idea ever.

california high school fashion 1969
High school fashion back in 1969 seemed so much fun. 

anthropologie flamenco aqua shower curtain
This beautiful flamenco shower curtain in aqua? Love. 

soft teal beautiful bedroom
And my severe obsession with soft teal accents continues.

Why not share with me also what's on your list of pretty favorites this week? I'd love to see them and maybe I'd link them up here too. :)

I hope you're all feeling well and happy wherever you are in the world. Stay healthy!


The Saddest Theme Park

zoya wednesday nail polish
I met up yesterday with my friend Ann who's based in Abu Dhabi and we visited one of Dubai's local theme parks. But unfortunately, it was the saddest theme park I have ever visited in my entire life. The place was deserted, eerily silent and just plain sad. Most rides were closed too, the cafes were only serving bland chicken burger, pool was already closed and there were countless black crows hovering above the entire place. A sad little brown horse was walking around and even the prize stuffed toys on the shooting area seemed a bit too cranky and freaky for a happy child's taste. Seriously, it's a scene straight out of Children of the Corn. :(
the saddest theme park on earth
Simply put, everything about it looks dull, wasted and abandoned. Such a shame because the place has so much amazing potential if only the management or owners would care to unleash it. Very heartbreaking because it's so far from the theme parks of my childhood which were always brimming with so much life and energy. My eyes would instantly light up with the mere mention of "theme park" as it conjures the happiest and fondest memories of summers during my childhood. Our summers back then wouldn't be complete without a trip or two to a local theme park or carnival. It has always been one of the best highlights of our school breaks and I still smile because of it whenever I look back.
ride a carousel
sad little brown horse
scary sharks stuffed animals
My heart sank when I saw the gloomy horse (both the live one and the one on the carousel) and much more when I saw the stuffed red chilies. They looked kinda traumatized I think. Who wouldn't be when you're supposed to be in the happiest place on earth and you're not having fun?

But thanks to our wicked sense of humor and crazy love for adventure, the experience was still so much fun. Though the place and almost everything in it tried to suck out our positive energy at first, we still managed to enjoy ourselves and took advantage of whatever's left of the theme park.
riding alone
Ann's company never fails to crack me up big time. She doesn't miss out on any opportunity, giving out no excuse to enjoy life's every single moment. As you can see above, she even had the courage to ride the Taga Disco all by herself! And mind you, it was an excruciatingly long fast spin and the ride didn't have a seatbelt or anything! Something I would never ever see myself do for sure. But this friend of mine amazes me to no end. Will truly never trade yesterday's experience for anything. So glad to spend it in the saddest theme park in the whole wide world. :)

How was your weekend, lovelies?
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